Historic Tolbooth no place for disabled?

The Tolbooth was designed in the bad old days when disabled access was not an issue.
The Tolbooth was designed in the bad old days when disabled access was not an issue.

There were calls for a change of venue for a meeting about future services for, among others, Lanark’s disabled folk when it was pointed out the location chosen has NO disabled access!

While a much-loved Royal Burgh historic landmark, the upper floor of the town’s famous Tolbooth is a no-go area for people with a disability which affects their walking skills, it has been claimed.

There are plans to install a lift to the upstairs hall but, until that is built, people still have to enter that part of the building by climbing up two flights of stairs.

When it was built in the 17th century, little or no thought was given to disabled access when designing a building.

The fact that the Tolbooth might be a very inappropriate place for the South Lanarkshire Social Care Partnership to hold a meeting to discuss its future plans for Lanark was pointed out by Greyfriars Church minister Bryan Kerr at the latest meeting of Lanark Community Council.

The clergyman’s own mobility has been limited by a recent serious illness and he told the meeting that the choice of venue for the August 16 meeting baffled him.

He asked: “How do people get up to a social care meeting that has no disabled access? The Tolbooth is hopeless for a meeting like that.”

He immediately offered use of his own church’s ground-floor hall for the gathering.

Council chairman Frank Gunning said that the meeting was to “inform the community, not treat them”.

However, the minister retorted: “But disabled people using the services will want to go to the meeting.”

The chairman agreed to consult with the Partnership over a change of venue.

That change to the church hall has now been confirmed.

The meeting will take place between 1pm and 3pm,

Those wishing to attend should notify Frank Gunning in advance on 07582797204 or via frank.gunning@yahoo.co.uk.